Alternative pathways for education graduates
There are alternatives to teaching in the school setting. There are a range of organisations (e.g. museums, zoos, environmental parks, regional waste management groups) which require education officers.
However, these positions are not easy to obtain as most employment is sessional or short-term contracts, positions are dependent on availability of government funding, employment is unpredictable, and often full-time work is difficult to offer as the work is dependent on factors such as school groups/holiday programs bookings.
Positions in organisations such as Queenscliff Marine Discovery Centre, Science works, Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Zoo are jewels in the crown of a teaching career and are often in high demand, therefore people often start as volunteers and find that this can lead to full time employment.
Current recruitment practices
- Advertise in local papers and The Age
- Word of mouth is the most effective means of recruiting
- Many positions are also filled internally
- Organisations also advertise via their relevant job sites
- Advertise on the organisation’s website
- Interviews are carried out and CV’s are required.
- An Education degree is required for most Education Officer positions
- Extensive work experience in the area is also highly regarded
- A degree in the field of employment is also highly regarded.
Identifying suitable applicants
- Organizations generally use the following selection processes:
- Interviews - also helps identify specific skills through hypothetical and competency based questions
- Trial periods
What sets one candidate apart from another
- The fact that the applicant enjoys working with children and/or adults
- The extra skills and experiences they can bring to the job
- Enthusiasm and passion
- Extra qualifications such as First Aid, Bronze Medallion
- The ability to be flexible in their delivery of their teaching.
Advice for students
- You must be passionate about what you do
- Think outside the parameters of the classroom
- Volunteer for organisations now - get as much experience as possible
- Don’t be afraid to reach out to the alternatives!